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Curious Modern Day Burial Practices - Funeral and Cremation Options

Updated on November 4, 2011

As part of a work project, I began to research the processes and laws that pertain to scattering the ashes of loved ones. During that process, I came across all kinds of interesting, creative, and even slightly humorous ways to memorialize the recently deceased.

I couldn't help telling people about some of the funeral and cremation options I came across, so I thought I would tweak my research a bit. I started going after some of the more unique and curious modern day burial practices that are showing up across the country.

I hope you find the information as interesting (and yes, even slightly entertaining) as I do.

1. Cremation Jewelry

The first curious burial practice I came across was Cremation Jewelry. There are companies that provide necklace pendants, keychains, rings, and bracelets that all carry a small amount of cremated ashes inside.

You can get the jewelry in just about any style: gold, silver, crystal, etc. depending on your taste. They even provide specialized pendants for a cremated pet's remains.

2. Cremation Diamonds

You heard right. You can have a diamond made from the carbon in cremation ashes or lock of hair from your loved one.

They are genuine diamonds, graded, inspected, and certified by gemologists.

They come in your specified color, carat size, clarity, and cut.

3. Personalized Urns

A personalized urn doesn't sound that curious or unique right away. However, these urns are about as personalized as you can get. These urns are made to look just like your deceased loved one.

These urns are made using 2 photographs to create a 3-D image of your loved one's head, supported on a marble base. A wig can even be added if your loved one had longer hair.

4. Cremation Art

Another rather creative option to display your loved ones ashes is to blend a small amount of them into a work of art. In this case, a painting.

Most that I have seen are fairly abstract, but apparently you can pretty much decide on any style of painting you want. The ashes can either be mixed into the paint as the artist is creating the painting, or the ashes can be added to an already existing painting, then glossed over.

Memorial Space Flights

This unique cremation option allows you to launch a portion of your loved one's ash into orbit! Literally. You can choose to either have your loved one's ashes put into orbit around the Earth, launched out into deep space, or launched onto the surface of the moon. You can even have the ashes returned again, if you wish.

Orbital Launch: a small amount of ashes rides alongside either a commercial or scientific satellite out into Earth's orbit. The ashes are transported in a spacecraft that will eventually reenter our atmosphere in 10-240 years and vaporize.

Deep Space Launch: This option is still in the works, but launches will be available in 2012.

Moon Launch: This option not finalized yet either, but will be available in 2012 or 2013.

Eternal Reefs

The memorial reef idea came about when a pair of friends wanted to do something to change the rapidly dying coral reefs off the coast of Florida. They invented the Reef Ball, which is an environmentally safe cement ball conducive to attracting and maintaining the tiny organisms that make up coral reefs, in order to grow new ones.

They began to offer burial services alongside their idea. An Eternal Reef is created by mixing the ashes of your loved one into the cement used to create a Reef Ball. The Reef Ball is then placed in a select location.

5. Green Burials

A Green Burial is much like a traditional burial with a casket and the whole works, except that the process is done as naturally as possible. The "casket" is made of bio-degradable substances, but you could also forego the eco-friendly casket for a bio-degradable burial shroud or even a favorite blanket.

A Green Burial needs to take place in a designated green cemetery or a memorial nature preserve.


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    • cjcarter profile image

      cjcarter 6 years ago

      Cloverleaf - I had no idea cremation jewelry existed either until I began researching! Very interesting... :)

    • Cloverleaf profile image

      Cloverleaf 6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Hi cjcarter,

      Cremation jewelry? Wow I didn't know there was such a thing, how fascinating. Voted this one up and interesting,


    • cjcarter profile image

      cjcarter 6 years ago

      Sensiva - That was my reaction too! I love how creative and unique we all are. It sure makes life (or death in this case) interesting!

      Mvillecat- Thank you! I really liked some of the ideas as well. Then, there were some that I may not be as inclined to consider ;)

      Ania L- I told my friend about the diamond option and she shares your thoughts. Wee bit creepy for me too.

    • Ania L profile image

      Ania L 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Wow, it's amazing what ideas people may have! I don't think I would like to have a diamond made from ashes - even thinking of it gives me a goose bump!

    • mvillecat profile image

      Catherine Dean 6 years ago from Milledgeville, Georgia

      This is a great Hub! Thanks for writing about this very important process and the options people have. I love the Reef idea! I voted up.

    • sensiva profile image

      sensiva 6 years ago

      All I can say is WOW ?! Luckily we are not all the same on this planet - just imagine how boring that would have been!